1 minute read
30 Sep 2014
2:31 pm

Zuma gets big welcome in Pietermaritzburg

President Jacob Zuma received a rapturous welcome wherever he went in Pietermaritzburg's Imbali township on Tuesday.

FILE PICTURE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS

Earlier people formed long queues outside the Durban University of Technology’s Indumiso campus in Pietermaritzburg and waited several hours for him to arrive.

When he got there shortly after 1pm, the Indumiso sports field erupted in singing and loud cheers. If there was any dissatisfaction at his government’s performance it was not visible from the thousands of people who packed a massive marquee and the main stand on the field.

Outside the campus stalls selling African National Congress T-shirts and caps did brisk business. Zuma told the audience that his was a caring government and listened to the people.

In the marquee Zuma allowed 10 women and 10 men to highlight their grievances over the public address system.

One woman, advocate Indhera Raja, complained that widows were being unnecessarily taxed on the pensions they received from their deceased spouses, and urged Zuma to look at legislation to bring relief to widows.

Shortly after hearing all the complaints Zuma and his entourage left the Indumiso campus.

Earlier, Zuma visited three homes in the township and spoke to the occupants. These included a household of orphans, led by 20-year-old Zandile Ncobo, who looks after her four siblings and a child of her own.

Zuma was accompanied by KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu amid a heavy security presence.

Another house Zuma visited was that of pensioner Ntombi Mtshali, who received a brand new walking stick, but only after she fell while trying to do a dance for Zuma.

At all three houses, supporters gathered to see the president, whose visit to Imbali was described as his presidential imbizo to Pietermaritzburg.